An obsessive novice rower climbs the ranks of her cutthroat team, pushing herself to physical and mental extremes to rub shoulders with, and ultimately become the best.
First-year college student, Alex, sets herself a near-impossible goal of joining the college rowing team as a rookie and becoming a varsity player. Coaches warn her that her goal is unreasonable, but Alex and another first-year student, Jamie, devote themselves to rowing by restricting their diet and subjecting themselves to ruthless practice. Lauren Hadaway said that while preparing for her feature debut, she researched the debut films of her favorite directors and came to the conclusion that she should make a film about what she knew best. She was able to express Alex's nuanced feelings based on her own experience as a competitive collegiate rower for four years. Isabelle Fuhrman, who had given an intense performance in Orphan (2009), won the Best Actress at the Tribeca Film Festival for her performance as Alex in The Novice. In an interview, Hadaway herself described this film as “Whiplash-meets-Black Swan for the rowing drama,” and just as she said, this film is an amalgamation of sports drama, psychological thriller, and tragic romance. [CHUN Jinsu]
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